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International students have been around for a long time. Yet, it’s only during the last several decades that the majority of them became related to refugees and the victims of forced migration. Since people of all ages are not able to adjust themselves to the new culture, it poses certain language barriers and cultural shocks. The students still face competition as they strive to show their best and outperform their existing skills. Unfortunately, the language barrier poses a serious problem. Hence, students tend to feel depressed and anxious as their expression of thoughts becomes limited and not up to the standards they would use by turning to their native language.
Creation of Global Cooperation Projects
While it’s not possible to address all the language barrier issues without properly learning the language, it is always possible to let everyone cooperate. It cannot be denied that when a group of students is united by the same set of goals, most cultural and linguistic barriers are erased. It’s a psychological aspect that is rarely noticed unless it’s studied scientifically, yet the use of global cooperation is the key and a way to go!
Participation in Social and Volunteering Campaigns
Another way to navigate the language barrier challenge is to participate in social work and learn in a slightly different environment. Some examples include Scouting, active games, community work, and volunteering activities with young people or the elderly where the pressure is not as high as it is in the academic environment. If you cannot find enough free time, you may consider websites to write essays for free and explore the options you have as an international student. While things often get confusing when English is not your first language, there is no reason not to try it out!
The Problem of Linguistic Segregation
Although the majority of educators these days are focusing on equality and equity in the classroom, many exchange and international students do not feel the results of this work. While it’s not the case everywhere, there is still a dark cloud of linguistic segregation that we can observe as international students are rarely getting due help and assistance. Educators often complain that they have no resources to help such learners. The only way to approach this issue is by turning to LMS platforms like Canvas or Socrative, which allow private communication methods to assist students without making it public. This way, language, and cultural differences can be discussed, analyzed, and helped with.
The Use of Arts, Music, and Sports
International students can make the change too! When you are a creative personality that speaks a different language, you can always express yourself differently by turning to what you can do well. It can be the use of arts, strong leadership skills, creation of video games, native speaker assistance with website localization services, playing a musical instrument, or showing a positive example as an athlete. Talent always paves the way for the universal language where your skills and attitude speak louder than words or cultural differences that you may have. It is also something for educators to consider as they look into the future of education.
Is The Future Dim or Bright?
It’s hard to tell for certain as the majority of international students are able to find various workarounds and form groups of fellow foreigners where they feel more at home. While it creates a natural cultural gap between other student groups, it’s still one of the ways to gain some confidence without turning to mental compromises. Some educators and culture experts may claim that it is a negative outlook. Yet, it’s the protection of self-identity among students and their way of defending what they believe without turning into something else of a hybrid and unknown form. Although it is a serious struggle for most, it also brings some freedom and helps students to find their place in the world and in the academic community!
Joanne Elliot is an avid explorer who loves to write and help students from all over the world gain academic and personal success. As an educator and technical translator, she constantly tries to make complex things simpler and more accessible. Follow Joanne to find your solution and get inspired.